Sunday, June 30, 2013

He Comes Up Smiling

US 1918. D: Allan Dwan. Dal romanzo omonimo di Charles Sherman e dall'adattamento teatrale di Byron Ongley ed Emil Nyitray. SC: Frances Marion. DP: Joseph August, Hugh McClung. C: Douglas Fairbanks (Jerry Martin), Marjorie Daw (Billy Bartlett), Herbert Standing (Mike), Frank Campeau (John Bartlett), Bull Montana (Baron Bean), Albert MacQuarrie (Batchelor), Kathleen Kirkham (Louise), Jay Dwiggins (il generale). P: Douglas Fairbanks per Douglas Fairbanks Pictures. Premiere: 15 settembre 1918. 35 mm. 500 m. (incompleto). 24' a 18 f/s. B&w. Da: Lobster Films. Accompagnamento al piano di Antonio Coppola. Intertitres français. E-subtitles in Italian and English. Cinema Jolly (Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna) 30 June 2013

"The surviving fragment of this 1918 feature - the last of Dwan's contemporary comedies with Douglas Fairbanks - finds Fairbanks as a bank teller placed in charge of his boss's pet canary. When the bird escapes, Doug chases it up, down and around the small town where the story is set, in a marvelously dynamic sequence that demonstrates Dwan's early and complete mastery of match cuts as a way of sustaining a sense of continuous, seamless movement across a series of complex spaces." Dave Kehr

A comedy full of mad action and crazy ideas. The search for the elusive bird leads Douglas Fairbanks to defy gravity, scaling walls as a human fly, and so on. The chase is full of acrobatic fantasy, irrepressible energy, and incredible inventions. He falls down and becomes a bum, and while washing himself is attacked by bees. Due to a change of clothes by the lake he can in the next moment pose as a great financial wizard, the richest man in the world. Another financial mogul has run out of gas, and soon his daughter is infatuated with Doug, but it turns out that the father is an arch rival at the stock exchange of the character Doug is pretending to be. This incomplete print ends with the encounter of Doug the fake with the real millionaire.

There is also something unsettling in the hyperactivity of the Douglas Fairbanks character, and there is a certain link between Fairbanks and Jerry Lewis.

This print is pleasant to watch.

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